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Supreme Court Upholds $6.7 Million Drug Litigation Verdict

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a $6.7 million dollar verdict awarded to a woman whose arm had to be amputated after she received a Phenergan injection.

The woman, Diana Levine, was suffering from migraine headaches and sought treatment from a local clinic. The clinic injected her with Phenergan by using an IV-push, which allows for a greater volume of the the Phenergan to enter the body at a faster pace. Instead of the Phenergan entering the body through a vein, as planned, the drug entered her body via an artery and she developed gangrene. As a result, doctors had to amputate Ms. Levine’s hand and forearm. Obviously a catastrophic injury for anyone in this situation, the amputation was especially devastating to Ms. Levine because it ended her career as a guitarist and pianist.

After a jury ruled in her favor and awarded Ms. Levine her damages, the drug maker, Wyeth, appealed the verdict and argued to the United States Supreme Court that is should be shielded from liability because the FDA approved Phenergan for consumer use. The Supreme Court rejected this argument and awarded Ms. Levine her damages.